MCN Blog

December 2021 SIG Corner: Intellectual Property

By MCN Intellectual Property SIG Chair Margaret C. McKee, she/her/hers, Digital Asset Manager, The Menil Collection (@mmemargaret)

Intellectual Property by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Pix4free.org

As 2021 comes to a close, many of us are reflecting on the successes and challenges of the past year’s projects and thinking about how we can strategically approach next year’s goals. As you plan for the #musetech projects you and your team will tackle in 2022, I encourage you to take intellectual property rights into consideration early in the planning process and to share your copyright conundrums with the MCN community!

MCN’s Intellectual Property Special Interest Group (IP SIG) is dedicated to exploring the intersection of IP and technology projects in the cultural heritage sector. The SIG offers both a forum for discussing these issues and a platform for actively developing new ideas and models that address the IP concerns of the museum community. 

Fostering a strong community of practice allows us to reach a consensus on standard practices and empowers us to feel more confident in the judgment calls we make every day in our work. Further, the best practices of our community—especially when codified in publications such as the CAA Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts and the AAMD Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Materials and Works of Art by Art Museums—may inform judicial opinions in cases of particular interest to museums. Our best practices are continually evolving, and the MCN community has helped keep me aware of these shifts. 

What are some of the IP concerns currently affecting your work? Are you undergoing a website redesign and discussing appropriate image sizes with the designers? Are you looking at how to implement Traditional Knowledge Labels in your collections management system? Are you not able to get anything done because people keep asking you what you think about NFTs

Do you have any great successes to report? Have you figured out the ideal way to store object and image rights information and supporting documentation in your CMS and DAMS? Have you implemented the RightsStatements.org statements? Have you developed a great institutional policy for when and how to fully caption artworks in virtual tours? We want to hear about those things, too! 

As we head into the new year, I invite you to join the IP SIG, ask questions on the message board, offer your own experiences, and let us know how the SIG can help the MCN community in 2022.


Interested in joining a SIG? 

Through Special Interest Groups, all MCN members have the opportunity to connect with colleagues doing similar work, explore opportunities to collaborate among them, share resources and effective practices, or discuss ways to advance their area of digital practice. MCN members may join any SIG and there is no limit on the number of SIGs one may join. When you fill out the membership registration form select which SIGs you’d like to join, you can join or leave a SIG at any time by updating your profile in the New Member Portal. Join or Login today!